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Gary Parrish Asks The Wrong Question

Making assumptions is usually a bad idea (and we should know)

Jabari Parker had a rough game in South Bend against the Irish
Jabari Parker had a rough game in South Bend against the Irish
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We normally like Gary Parrish, but he kind of missed the boat with this column. Like almost all coaches - guys like Billy Tubbs, Lefty Driesell and the emotionally erratic Roy Williams are exceptions - Mike Krzyzewski often offers bland answers when reporters and the public would prefer more robust ones like what follows, for instance (and these are totally fictional):

"Well, Jabari has an infected big toe and he can't really cut or plant. We tried but it was hurting him more and more as the game went on, so we sat him down."

Or this: "Rodney was pretty sick the other night and it looks like Jabari and maybe Matt caught what he had. He tried to give it a go today but he was really feeling crappy so he asked to sit down because he was hurting the team."

Or maybe this: "every freshman has a couple of rough games, even the great ones. This was one of those games for Jabari. We know he's really good but he wasn't today so we went with the older players."

What bugs us is when the press makes leaps without information. For instance, as a practice, Duke does not report injuries unless the players are so hurt they can't go. Minor illnesses are also not typically reported. This is for two basic reasons: first, it disallows an excuse. If a player is well enough to play, he can't then say, well I was hurt/ill, which is why I sucked today.

And second, it doesn't give information away to an opponent.

The question Parrish should have asked is not whether Parker should have sat or not. The smarter question would be why. And as far as that goes, while saying we sat him down because he wasn't playing well may or may not be the whole story, it's not an unreasonable explanation.